Studying in a top university and living the ‘American Dream’ or the ‘European Dream’ has been a goal of many. However, before enrolling in top universities like the ‘Ivy League’ colleges, one must understand the possibilities of financial deficit that may come in the way. Ivy Leagues like Harvard, Yale, Princeton or Stanford are among those colleges which offer generous undergraduate financial aids packages. Unless you come from a wealthy family, you have to look out for all the prospects of gaining maximum scholarship, if you wish to live debt-free from student loans. Some colleges are so benevolent that if your family makes below $65k i.e., below ₹42,00,000 then you can apply for a full scholarship! Below are some guidelines that will help you understand the measures to gain maximum scholarships in expensive universities: Research You need to spend some amount of time finding out which university offers what in which country. It is exhaustive work but your efforts will be worth it once you plan out your task and make a checklist. Visit the websites of the colleges you want to get into and request application details. Study the application details profoundly and mark the points and questions that arise in your mind. Send mails to the concerned person and get your queries cleared before you take the next step. Eligibility Criteria This is one of the most important element you need to keep a check on before enrolling in any university. Research about the scholarships that suits you the best and start preparing your application form accordingly. You may have to take a few tests like IELTS, TOEFL, SAT etc. depending upon your field of study. The scores of these tests matter a lot in various top-shot universities and your admission highly depends on them. Start reaching out to the eligibility requirements before your school gets over. You must also find out the minimum marks required to gain the scholarship so that you can plan out before it’s late. Get your form ready You must fill out all the information correctly. Make sure to attach all the necessary documents required to complete the application form. Many times application forms get rejected based on minor errors and mistakes, so you can avoid this by re-checking your information before submitting. Presentation There’s a reason why they are called scholarships - universities require excellent ‘scholars’ to get admission in their colleges. If you are an average student, then start working on yourself and create your portfolio according to the course you wish to pursue. They give scholarships to those students who excel in both academics and extra-curricular activities, so start assembling your certificates and credentials to make them want ‘you’. Think of this like a job interview- the best will get in. Meet the deadline What most students lack in is time management, and you need to pick your pace for getting into your dream university abroad. Complete your application process before the deadline is near so that you can make corrections before you submit it. You can’t submit the form in a hurry, it will only make you prone to errors and make it very difficult for you to process a good portfolio. Mark one week before the deadline on your calendar, and plan things before executing them. 90% planning and 10% execution is the key. All being said, do not forget to ‘relax’. Breathe in, and breathe out. If you have put in your 100% hard work, there’s nothing to worry about. Expensive universities may be out of your league, but do not hesitate to try. Make sure to gain as much scholarship as you can to save your parents from unwanted loans and debts.